STIMULUS CHECKS

Stimulus checks: what is proposed in Democrats' new $2.4 trillion plan?

House Democrats are working on $2.4 trillion proposal for a new coronavirus relief package that could include a second round of stimulus checks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is seen as people pay respects to the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as her casket lies in state during a memorial service in her honor in the Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol, Washington, U.S., September 25, 2020. Erin Schaff/Pool via REUTERS
POOL REUTERS

Following several months of failed talks on a new coronavirus relief package, House Democrats are putting together a new bill which could cost around $2.4 trillion.

The House passed the Democrats' previous $3 trillion proposal, known as the HEROES Act, back in March. However that bill failed to pass at the Senate, where it had already been deemed “dead on arrival” by President Donald Trump and other leading Republicans.

Since then, a series of Republican bills have also been rejected, with Democrats voting against the proposals on the grounds that their budgets were too low. Republicans have been reluctant to agree to any spend over $1 trillion, with their latest proposal only reaching $500 billion, while Democrats have been willing to come down on their original $3 trillion in a bid to get a deal through Congress.

The Democrat’s latest $2.4 trillion proposal comes after House speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would not leave without passing a new stimulus deal before November’s elections. “We are committed to staying here until we have an agreement that meets the needs of the American people,” she told CNBC last week.

Democrat bill could include stimulus checks

According to CNBC, who cites “a person familiar with the plans”, the new Democratic bill would include enhanced unemployment insurance, direct payments to Americans, Paycheck Protection Program small-business loan funding and aid to airlines, among other provisions.

While no other information was divulged regarding the direct payments, they could be similar to those passed under the CARES Act in March, which saw one-off checks worth $1,200 sent out to 60 million Americans, who also received $500 per qualifying dependent under 17.

The House could vote on the bill as early as next week, where it is likely to be passed by the Democratic-majority lower chamber. But the bill will have a much tougher time getting through the Republican-controlled Senate as it’s still considerably more costly than the latest Republican $500 billion plan.

Democrat and Republican negotiators have so far been unable to come close to an agreement on a coronavirus relief package.

Stimulus package: Pelosi confident about a deal 

Although Pelosi is now more confident on reaching a deal with Republicans after claiming on 16 September that Preisent Trump had advised party negotiators to  “go for the much higher numbers”.

"It's encouraging to see that the President is now calling on Republicans to 'go for the much higher numbers' after months of Senate GOP efforts to shortchange Americans’ needs. We look forward hearing from his negotiators that they will finally meet us halfway," she tweeted.